WARRNAMBOOL driver Brad Warren has farewelled wingless sprints at the top of the sport.
Warren has accepted an offer to step up into sprintcars and will drive for Pakenham car owner Danny Mason when the season gets under way in October.
The 22-year-old leaves wingless sprints after a stellar 2011-12 campaign, which culminated with winning the class' top prizes at the weekend.
He claimed the overall points aggregate, for the best A main results on Victorian tracks, and took home the driver of the year award as voted by his rivals.
"That's probably the coolest trophy," he told The Standard yesterday.
"Every driver gets a piece of paper and they vote on which driver is driver of the year, sort of like a best and fairest," he said.
"It's good to know the blokes you race against have the same respect for you as you do for them. It's a pretty big thing.
"Only today I sat back and realised what it means to you," he said. Warren followed his father Paul into speedway and had his first drive in junior sedans at the age of 10.
"We had to do it without mum knowing because she was worried about me racing," he said.
Warren rose into wingless sprints and last season won seven features, was the Darlington track champion and dominated the Queen's Birthday long weekend event at Horsham.
Warren said driving a sprintcar would be a dream come true. The opportunity arose through a long-time friend, Terang's Phil Walters, who crewed for Mason during his days on the track.
Warren and his partner Jess Eldridge have picked up new jobs at Pakenham, south-east of Melbourne, and are preparing to move.
"We're going to try and contest nearly all the SRA rounds and the (Grand Annual Sprintcar) Classic is highlighted on the calendar," he said.
"We want to get in as many runs before the Classic as possible so I can get a feel for the car and we can make sure everything is working."
Warren said he had set modest expectations in his debut season alongside speedway's elite. "I'd like to make a few A mains but finishing races is the key thing," he said.
"I don't want to be sitting on the infield or be on the edge of transferring.
"I'd love to make the A main at the Classic but it all depends on how I'm travelling at the time."